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Podcast tours of Portneuf’s shoreline: The St. Lawrence, the lifeline of our historic villages

By Éliane Trottier, July 20 2021

Imagine you are visiting a new village. What better way to discover it than being there are hearing about its history, its character, and what life was like in years gone by? Well that is exactly what Du cœur au fleuve : les balados du littoral portneuvois is all about!

All born of the St. Lawrence River, the villages along Portneuf’s shoreline have many stories to tell. From Neuville to the old village of Grondines, via Donnacona, Cap-Santé, Portneuf and Deschambault, you will embark on a journey of discoveries in these authentic communities, forged by a rich history and an ever-present dynamism—it’s guaranteed!

From one visit to the next, you can use a free podcast mobile application to enjoy a guided tour in either French or English, rain or shine! Six walking tours are available, allowing you to learn about various aspects of the villages along the Chemin du Roy, whether it be their history, heritage, cultural and commercial life or even local curiosities.

Have I aroused your curiosity? Without revealing all the secrets, I can tell you that the walking tours will give you the chance to find out about some of the major events in Quebec’s history, such as the war of the Conquest of New France, the Quiet Revolution and even the creation of Cheez Whiz! In addition to the various local events that have shaped the landscape of the villages, such as fires and industrial development, the podcasts will allow you to understand how the general social and economic context has influenced the region’s development. Would you have ever thought that a famine on another continent could explain the existence of some of Portneuf’s emblematic buildings? What connection do you make between the democratization of the automobile and certain buildings that today overlook the St. Lawrence?

History can be defined well beyond what we know of our great cities, important figures and pivotal turning points of yesteryear. The towns and villages dotting Portneuf’s section of the Chemin du Roy bear witness to this through their remarkable built heritage, which reflects not only all the construction techniques that marked the different periods, but also a way of life influenced by society’s evolution and the great march towards modernity. The result is communities that carry on this heritage while showing boldness and creativity. Open your eyes and ears wide: our podcasts will unfold history before you as you discover the shoreline!

Each tour lasts about 40 minutes, is spread out over 2 km and allows you to explore both the village centres and the St. Lawrence at the same time. The tours are fully accessible and a pleasant addition to your visit to our villages and their attractions. For once I can say, don’t hesitate to check your phone while you are walking along as you can see many fascinating archival images!

To access the various tours, go to the Du coeur au fleuve | Les balados du littoral portneuvois section of Tourisme Portneuf’s website and you will find links for each of them. Don’t have mobile data on your device? Don’t worry: you can download the tours ahead of time for offline use, and each of the town centres has a free Wi-Fi network available for visitors.

Now it’s your turn to take a dive into the past in this eyes-and-ears-on experience. Have fun exploring!